Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Detours

So Halloween didn't end up just as we (I mean "I") had planned (no naps, running late, flat tire, etc.), but we ended up having a great time! I wanted to jump on and show y'all some of my AWESOME pictures! Hope your holiday was blessed!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Winner of Blogoversary Giveaway

Random.Org resulted in comment #9.

The winner of the blogoversay giveaway is Jhona O. Jhona O if you could email me your info, I would love to send you your price. I will also be getting with Laura from Heavenly Homemakers.


Wishing you a safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Making Your Own Cakes

Do you know how much a cheap, generic, birthday cake from Walmart is costing these days!?

When I last checked, it was close to $10!

$10 for a cake that has no special thought or meaning?!? You've got to be kidding me!

This year we have been trying to do only homemade gifts which are full of thought for gifts. Many times we have failed, but we continue to try.

One way that I have found to show someone I love them and care for them is to make them a cake and decorate it myself. I used to make homemade cards (spending hours!) and people would look at them, smile and toss! It was hard to watch all that thought and time just be pushed aside. It was time to come up with a new idea.

Cake decorating is it!!

I love it. It's thoughtful. It's fun and guess what.... I'm good at it!

If you make your own cake mix and icing the total cost is about $3.35. That's all for a cake that is full of thought and love!

Now I am going to be honest with you, my husband bought me a NICE cake decorating kit. It cost $100 but the way I see it, I am saving about $10 every time I do a cake (to have a nice themed cake is even more than a Walmart generic). So therefore, I need to make 10 cakes to get the money back. Since having the decorating set, I made my dad a birthday cake and I made a Halloween cake for my family (pictures coming next week!). That is at least $20 we saved. With the large family we have I will easily have the money saved that the kit cost in a couple of months.

Here are a few pictures of my dad's birthday cake. He is a photographer and loves cameras, therefore I decided to make him a simple camera cake.
Be watching next week for the awesome icing recipe a friend gave me. It is so easy, cheap, and 'oh so delicious!

This post is linked to Frugal Friday and the Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom .

Lincoln's Laugh

My sweet baby, Lincoln, has a laugh that melts hearts... It is so innocent and full of joy. It truly is one of the finer things of my days!

A child's laughter is a sweet music to the ear...

that God has blessed this Mama to hear...

When I just think there is NO way,

God uses it to brighten my day!

Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
The fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don't stand a chance against you;
you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.
Psalms 127:3-5

This post is linked to Amy's Finer Things.

Quick Question, Answers Extremely Welcome!

So here is a quick question with an answer GREATLY appreciated!!

Next week I am going to be kicking off !No Spend November!. As I promised I am going to be tackling one area of spending per week. Here are the topics and I wanted you to give opinions and comments on what you are most interested in first! You know what? I might just try putting a poll up on my blog... VOTE!

  1. How we save with utilities.
  2. How we save on groceries.
  3. How we save decorating.
  4. How we save on transporation.
  5. How we save on clothing/hair/personal hygiene.

Exciting stuff!?! I am super pumped!! Now everyone VOTE (and if I don't figure out the poll thing, comment)!!

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Dearest friends, one of the blogs that I read and interact with needs your prayers. Over at MckMama, her son is battle some extensive heart problems. Today is his first birthday!

I would love to give further details but the clock just will not allow me. For the whole story click here.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Turbo Jams!!

I have began a weight loss journey and much to my chagrin, I had to begin exercising. I detest exercising with a HUGE passion! I always played sports growing up and had a good metabolism, now not so much. I have tried running. I have tried walking. I have tried committing to the gym. But, I found nothing that interested me.

I am a strong believer that if you are not having fun and you are not interested in your work out, you're not going to do it and you're not going to stick with it.


I have never seen a workout like this! The energy and motivation is contagious! I LOVE doing it. I cannot wait to do it. I have been sick for the past week and I have yearned to get back to Turbo Jams! It makes me feel good, it makes me feel happy! I can see results. Turbo Jams is something that I love!!
This post is linked to Things I Love Thursday at Diaper Diaries.

Think for Myself Thursday: Cloth Diapers

Keeping my post from yesterday in mind, I decided to come up with a day in which I share with you one of my crazy/not normal passions or views.

I declare this day Think for Myself Thursday. I am super excited to share with you some of my passions with you.

One of the things that I am so passionate about is cloth diapering. When I was on bed rest with Lincoln I started reading a book about "Green" living and how much our everyday activities affect our Earth without even knowing it.

Diapers is one of the easiest ways to damage our plant but it also one of the easiest to change.

I never knew how much I would love cloth diapering.

So I want to share with you a few misconceptions about cloth diapering in my opinion:

Disposable diapers do not really hurt the environment. Here is just a quick statistic for you. Every baby uses at least 6000 diapers before potty training. This is equivalent to approximately four to five trees, 325kg of plastic waste, and 1 ton of landfill per baby.

Cloth diapering is more work. It does take a little work to first learn how to maneuver putting on a cloth diaper while a child is wiggling, but I think putting any kind of diaper on a wiggly child is hard. If you begin cloth diapers from the start by the time the baby is a toddler, cloth diapering is just as simple as disposable diapers.

It's just as expensive. It is expensive at first. We spent $130 at the start, however we have not spent anymore money. Can you do the math? And yes I know you have to do laundry, but when thrown in with our normal family laundry, we did see a difference in our utility cost.

It's disgusting. Aren't all diapers disgusting?!? Yes, it is a little more work and nastiness disposing of the contents, but you get over it.

So this is the unveiling of my supplies. I took a break from cloth diapering when I heard how uncool it was. Now I am back into it! Yippee!!

My supplies: cloth diapers on bottom (We choose to not go fancy. We want a large and we don't want to worry about colors and styles and stuff!) are the cloth diapers. On the top left are snappies. Snappies take the place of diaper pins. They are awesome! And finally on the right, are the velcro outer diaper covers (once again very plain, but that's how I like them!).

In this container, on the left side there are cloth diaper wipes and on the left are diaper pins.

This are my containers stacked in the living room.

The library book bag sits in front of it to divert attention.

Lincoln modeling his cloth diaper.

I just LOVE how he sits!

Moves with him.

TaDa! I'm a big boy.

And this one is on here just because he is so darn cute!

A New Kind of Blog

First off, Hi, I'm Jodi Davis and deep down, I'm a people pleaser, but I have strong opinions. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping my opinions to myself. I wait and wait and wait until I just cannot hold it anymore, blow up and then I have a pity party in the fact that I made someone else unhappy and not like me.

This is a dangerous combo!

I have really been struggling with this blog and with myself. I am not happy with either. I go other people blogs and have two things happen: 1) Why aren't this many people interested in what I have to say? and 2)Why don't I have my life this together?

I don't want to be like that anymore.

So after a lot of praying and thinking, I have decided. This is going to be a different kind of blog and I'm going to be a different kind of person...

My blog is going to be passionate and my life is going to be passionate.

See, for a long time, I have kept my interests and my real opinions to myself. My opinions and my interests aren't always what I'd like to think of as normal (Truly, what is normal?). They aren't exactly what I've grown up knowing, not what my parents liked or thought. I am finding that a lot of the opinions I thought I had were based on things I heard and thought were right growing up. A lot of my opinions and interests are what I thought the Church and Church people thought and liked.

See, it took a long time to make my faith my own. To choose to love the Lord and trust in Him for myself. I just always acted like the Christian I thought everyone else was. I never made my own commitments.

It is high time I allow myself to feel, love, and believe as I, Jodi, feel that I should. Not others.

For a long time now, I would become very interested in something, but when I'd look around at other's in my life and hear their opinions of it, I would drop it like a hot potato. To others it seemed like I was very flakey, but to me, it felt like an internal struggle. One, that cost me a lot of great opportunities.

I am not making those mistakes a second time. I am going to embrace the thoughts and interests that God has given me and run with them. I am going to tell people about them and I am going to be proud that I have them. No more hiding for me anymore...

My life and this blog are now going be REAL.
I spend a lot of time appearing like I have it together.
The posts and real-life facade I put on make it appear like I am everyday Bible reading, Jesus talking, Christ-follower. That is not the case at all. I have so much room to grow and I need to find the time to grow.
I spend a lot of time making it appear like I have the perfect marriage. I do not. That is far from the truth. Now don't get my wrong I have a wonderful marriage, but I do not put enough love, patience, and joy into it. First and foremost I do not put God into it.
My home is a wreck. I find that I do not ask friends to come over and cancel important things that happen in my home due to my not being happy with it's appearance. I find myself endlessly searching for blog photos that do not show the piles of laundry.
My kids are kids. Sometimes, because it can be humorous, I put posts up that show some of the crazy things they do. BUT if I'm honest, I would say that I portray a mother that tries to have it all together. Once again, not always the case.
I spend a lot of time trying to find the balance of being honest on this blog (Will my in-laws stumble across this blog and see that I am not the perfect housewife?) and in my life. I need to accept that I have interests that a lot of people might now have, but that's okay. Just like it's okay, if they don't have the same interests and opinions that I have. BUT, I should not be afraid to have them.
Therefore, I am proclaiming that this is a new blog. A blog where I am going to be and like me. I am going to talk to you about the things that ARE important to me and I'm going to be proud that I have my own feelings. Please understand that this is a blog of no judgement. I am always open to a good debate AS LONG as it is done in love and civilized. I will have to say that I might have to think of things and get back to you, but don't think for one second that I am ignoring you and do not care about your opinions. I am learning that God gave us all our own and it's GREAT!
So PLEASE take this journey WITH me. Look deep down inside yourself and see what you like or if you're just liking things because you think it's what other expect. Together we will find the women that God made us to be.
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

For the L.O.V.E. of Lists

I LOVE lists. I love checking things off of lists. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from lists.

I find that organizational tools such as lists, goals written down, menu plans, and calendars are my friend, BUT they are only my friend if I use them correctly.

There are a lot of "Life Binder" ideas out there, but those ideas just do not work for me. I am organized in my own sort of way and I become overwhelmed when I have a huge binder with a lot of different sections.

Therefore, I decided to show and tell you some ways that I stay organized and stay sane. People often ask me how I stay on top of things with this being my first year of homeschooling. I will give a little peek here today.

First and foremost, I use this blog as a reminder. I use it to write my lists for the week, I use it to keep my thoughts organized and I use it to stay on top of Menu Planning.
Lots, of people use printed out menu plans, but with all the paper that comes and goes through this house, it just isn't possible to keep a tab on where it is (I tried putting it on the refrigerator and the boys would jump and rip it off. I have tried multiple things, just none have worked for me.). Therefore, putting my menu up on here and just jumping on in the morning to see what is planned for dinner works for me. My husband also likes that he can just jump online to look at what we're having for dinner. It makes the Davis' home go smoother!

Another tool my husband and some of my friends use, but I have not gotten into (I'm not too good at technological things! :)) is Google Calendars. My husband uses it and it keeps him on top of things so it must be a good tool! To learn more about it click here.

The next tool I use it the "chore chart". It isn't necessarily a chore chart for any one person in the family, it is just a chart that states what we should do every day during the day. We try and do a quick clean and do of everyone of the things on the list but the day that we focus on a certain area has a box. Some categories have a box every day, these are things that we need to do every day such as make our bed, brush our teeth, and dinner/clean up. This helps are day go much more smoothly.

I also LOVE my planner. Every year when the school year starts, I buy a new planner. For our home the new year begins with each school year, more than with each calendar year. You cannot see it in this picture but every night before I go to bed, I tentatively schedule every hour of my day. Now days that I follow the schedule to a T, I would be telling a fib if I said I did not feel better, BUT I always try to be open to God's gentle interruptions (I am NO where close to being good at it yet!). I just feel when I follow this schedule somewhat there is not a lot of wasted time. I am distracted very easy but one thing that helps is I'm not a big "phone talker". If you catch me on a good day I am, but it is just too hard to focus on a conversation when boys are circling you with guns, screaming "you're next mom". This also limits me computer time. I love to jump on and read blogs, but there just isn't enough time for it some days. I try to use my schedule as a reward for myself. I find that if I do things in a timely manner and correctly, I let myself jump on the computer the remaining time. When the next hour starts, I start too. This is just a little trick that works for me.

The final tool I use is my family wall calendar. This isn't a very exciting tool. We have a wall calendar hanging in the kitchen so if someone calls and wants to schedule something we can take a quick look at whether we already have something planned for that time. Now we have the rule in our home (and we try to adhere to it!) that before we schedule or commit to something, we always talk to each other. It doesn't always work, but we have found time and time again that one of us had an idea for a Saturday and the other had a totally different idea or committed the family to something else. This calendar is very handy during the Holiday season. We both have large families that live near us. Therefore, we have a TON of plans. I am starting to have anxiety attacks just thinking of the events coming up.

These organizational tools really work for me especially when times get hectic around our home. I hope that they can be of use to you during your busy holiday season!

Saying Good-Bye to Summer

Gone are the days of summer...

This post is linked to Wordless Wednesdays at 5 Minutes for Moms.

Monday, October 26, 2009

GratiTuesday ~Garlic Festival

We took a family field trip a couple of weeks ago to the Garlic Festival. My Grandma and my Mom and Dad accompanied us. We had a great time!

I learned a ton about garlic types and how to plant it and harvest it. However, it should be in the ground right now and I have been too busy and too sick to prepare my garden and get them planted. Ugh!
Not the greatest picture (sigh!) but at least they both were in it.
Lincoln enjoyed being pulled around like a prince.. :)
My mom and Dylan taking a break and looking at the water.
I thought I would pose for y'all! Take two!
Mission accomplished...
This is linked to GratiTuesday!

NOT ME! Monday...

Okay since I am hiding in the computer/music room while the kids nap blogging (er... I mean balancing the checkbook!:)), I am going to try this Not Me! Meme from MckMama. Besides, it is just too funny (in an embarrassing, "I want to hide behind a mail box" sort of way!) to pass up. I cannot wait until my husband reads what he NOT! said... ;)

We were (NOT!) standing in the line at the post office for 45 minutes with the lobby (NOT!) full of people. And when I did NOT! walk up when it was my turn, Dylan did NOT! say loudly for the whole lobby to hear....

Mama why do you shake your butt so much?
You tell me it's not nice to shake your butt at people.
Oh, nevermind Mama, Daddy tells me it happens naturally
when ladies have big butts....

I was so excited to hear that (NOT!).

Happy big-butted blessings to you tonight (NOT!)!

I Choose Joy, Not Tears...

I had HUGE plans for today... I had GREAT plans for today... I had a great ATTITUDE planned for today...But they all fell apart...

  • I knew that I should NOT go out to lunch but I really, really wanted to see my aunt and cousin so I went...Service was terrible. Spent money we really didn't have on food NO ONE ate! Ugh.. I learned. I am not perfect. Next time I want to go out to eat, I will remember this visit. I also got out of the house and got to spend time with my aunt and cousin. AND we actually DO have the $$, I should just be putting it towards better things.
  • Went to the Post Office to ship the prizes for the Fall Giveaway. Stand in line for 45 minutes (the kids were acting fine, but like 2 young kids), get up to the lady and she looks at me and says "We won't ship this. Next!" Really, are you kidding me?!? My kids were actually well behaved. The old ladies in line got a chuckle out of them. I learned NEVER to go to the Englewood post office. I also got a hold of a dear friend (and my boss of sorts). I went over to her house and she taught me how to ship the prizes. We talked and I felt better. (Prizes are shipped!)
  • Drive 35 miles out to the Whole Foods Bulk Store, pull up and would you like to guess at what I see? We have a bulk food store that many people don't have. It was a beautiful ride and I got to sing and listen to my sweet little angels sing praise songs to Jesus. What can be more precious than that? I have a car to drive to the food store and I had money in my pocket to spend on good healthy foods for my family at the store.
  • Turn around and in this poor little Amish families driveway/parking lot have a break down. It goes something like this...God I just wanted to get some whole foods for my family. How am I supposed to save gas when I drive all the way out here and they are closed? God why was the post office lady so p.o.ed? Why is everything a brick wall? Why can't I have a good day? There are dishes, laundry, dirt and cobwebs all over my home! Lord, I can't stand that! (stomp! stomp! sniff!) The Amish family didn't call the cops and have me committed! And last but not least, we have a home, dishes, clothes, dirt and cobwebs... We are so blessed!
  1. God was probably saying "You could save money by not going out to eat and then guess what... You probably wouldn't feel guilty and beat yourself up later!"
  2. God was probably snickering that I said p.o.ed about the post office lady.. Just seems funny to me....
  3. God (and the poor little Amish family, looking out there windows at the psycho lady!) thought what a "spoiled brat!"
  4. I was just a GREAT example for my children (good thing they were at least in the car with the doors shut!).
  5. I should be looking for the blessings in all these small irritations, so I am going to go back up and in a different color write all my blessings next to the situation.

How about you? Do you see any blessings in the midst of your crazy, hard to get through day?

Simple Woman's Daybook Entry: Monday October 26, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... the sun is showing it's beautiful face. It's been a few days since I've seen that.

I am thinking... about our day and how I plan for it to go smoothly...

I am thankful for... two beautiful boys that are sitting here watching Imagination Movers so quietly.

I am wearing... my purple PJ's. Monday's are slow beginning days.

I am remembering... how nice my cousin's birthday with family was last week.

I am start school and then exercise (ugh! but must be done.)

I am reading...Revelations

I am hoping... for a good week where lots of things get accomplished and good memories are made.

On my mind... My husband and how hard he works for our family.

From the learning rooms... We are learning about prayer requests and praises.

Noticing that... my free blogging time is coming to a close soon, it's almost 10.

From the kitchen... Cinnamon toast and juice

Around the house... lots of cleaning and tidying to do. I was down sick for a week (husband did a great job) so there is a lot to be caught up on!

See more daybook entries at

Where Have All The Comments Gone?

Are you out there?!?

I see you on my sitemeter but I cannot find you on my site! I have been out spreading comment joy all over the blogosphere in hopes that it's contagious!!

Hello?!? Are you there!?! You from Canada...Hey! don't look away I know you're there!...Why aren't you commenting?!? Fellow Ohio friend, why aren't you commenting?!? I gave my blog a bath, it actually has a nice aroma stop and see!

Are you there?!? Anybody??

Maybe it's just ghost in honor of Halloween stopping by?


Sunday, October 25, 2009

$200 for Best Buy?

Over at McKmama she is giving away the chance to receive a $200 gift certificate! What are you waiting for?!? Get moving!!

Menu Plan

Due to an incredible amount of sickness at our home, last week was deemed survival. We barely ate and when we did, it wasn't a meal or anything made from our kitchen. So this week we are getting back on the horse.

eggs and toast
BBQ sandwiches, green beans
hotdogs, relish, chips

cinnamon toast
jelly sandwiches, fruit
beef tips and noodles, mashed potatoes

pumpkin muffins
hotdogs, relish, carrots
teriyaki chicken, sweet potatoes

Pizza Night!

alphabet soup
tacos, chips, salsa

grilled cheese sandwiches
cubed Steak, mashed potatoes

biscuits and gravy, eggs
taco nachos, salsa, chips

For more menu plans head over to Organized Junkie.

Making Your Home Sing: The End is Drawing Near

My home has been singing along with smelling like the end of canning season. I am starting to get excited because the end is drawing near. I have been taking a bloggy break for the past few weeks, during that time I managed to finish the last of the pears. I put up over 30 quarts of canned pears.

Every time that I would become disheartened by all the pears on my counter, I would take a deep breath and thank God for providing. It's amazing, looking at how God blesses us always makes me want to keeping going. He has truly provided an abundance of food this year. Not only have we had a TON to put up and eat during the summer, we have had a lot to give away to our family, friends, and community that is in dire need of nourishment. God is good, all the time and all the time God is good!
I also chopped and diced the last of the bell peppers. I just love all the colors the peppers come in. God is a beautiful creator, even when it comes to our foods! :) However, there was a surprise waiting on me in one of the peppers... More to come on that later...
The last item I have in my home right now needed to be preserved is apples. A couple of weeks ago, I saw that apples were on a great sale, 79 cents/lb. I waited until the night the sale was to end and I went kind of late, around 10:15, and I told the produce manager that I would buy the rest of the apples if he would sell them to me at 33 cent/lb. He agreed! I was so excited...!!! So therefore, sitting in my garage are about 4 bushels of apples needing to be made into applesauce and cut and frozen! After the apples, I only have pumpkins, beets, and carrots left. I am in the home stretch friends! Since I am discussing my canning, once more I just want to show a picture of all my canned goods. If you want to see them all you can click here.

For a quick look at my canning disaster click here!

They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Psalm 145:7

This post is linked to Momstheword.